Salceda issues flash appeal for Nina-devastated Albay towns

Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has issued a flash appeal for relief assistance and donations for his native town of Polangui, and four other municipalities of his province that were heavily devastated by Typhoon Nina on Christmas Day.

The Albay destruction wrought by Nina is reputedly the worst recorded in the past 10 years, and was even worse than the devastation inflicted in 2006 by supertyphoon Reming (Durian).

Power has not yet been restored as of Dec. 8 in the province, and authorities said it may take much longer to do so.

Salceda said Polangui and neighboring Libon and Oas towns, both of Albay's third district, were similarly devastated along with Tiwi and Malinao, in the first district. They all urgently need assistance.

Polangui, Oas and Libon are rich agricultural towns, which account for 72% of Albay's annual rice harvest. Polangui and Oas, both within the eyewall of Typhoon Nina, have populations of 88,221 and 75,171, respectively, bigger than another direct hit town of Virac, Catanduanes with a population of 73,650.

Three deaths were reported in Polangui, the only casualties recorded in Nina's aftermath, breaking Albay's zero casualty record during disasters when Salceda was governor for nine years. He now resides in and represents the second district, which suffered lesser damage.

"My town of birth, Polangui, was badly devastated by Typhoon Nina, including its neighboring towns of Libon and Oas. Two other towns of Albay were badly damaged - Tiwi and Malinao. In Polangui and Libon, disaster authorities reported that 'TY Nina was worse than Reming' as they experienced 255 kph winds, 312 mm, 24-hour rainfall, and the breakdown of a major dike in barangays Bangag and Calzada in Oas," Salceda posted on Facebook.

He added: "70% of houses made of light materials were destroyed, rows upon rows blended with the ricefields just as flattened out and many houses unroofed. The three towns of Oas, Libon and Polangui account for 72% of Albay's rice output."

Records of the devastation in Polangui and Libon, Albay are as follows: Polangui -- houses partially damaged -- 5,425; totally damaged --10,431; infrastructure (partial report) -- P213,576,320; agriculture -- P98,762,000. Libon -- houses damaged, 2,540; totally damaged -- 4,320; infra (partial report) -- P300,096,000; agriculture -- P128,750,000.

"I ardently seek your assistance for relief, preferably commodities - rice, canned goods and other food items, water, clothing, household necessities like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, housing materials or tarps, medicines," Salceda said in his Facebook post.

When he was governor, the Albay lawmaker heavily contributed to the relief operations and rehabilitation of calamity victims in other regions through the highly popular Team Albay disaster response group which he personally headed.

Salceda has assigned two well-organized and recognized civil society entities to receive cash donations -- Dios Mabalos Po Foundation, Inc., (a Galing Pook awardee) BPI Account No. 3303-1931-96, (Please contact Meds Villanueva- 09175213883); and Team Albay Youth Organizations, Inc. (a multi-awarded and a Hall-of-Fame Gawad Kalasag awardee), MetroBank Account No.595004604, (Please contact Alfred Nimo - 0927-665-4715).

Source: Philippines News Agency

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